Government parastatal, Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA), is likely to hunt for a new Chief Executive Officer, following the end of contract for Kgotla Ramaphane sometime last week, BG has learnt.
Botswana Guardian can confirm that Ramaphane’s contract came to an end on the 12th of August and Director-Public Services Outsourcing, Ishmael Joseph has been appointed in an Acting capacity, leaving out the current Deputy CEO Tiny Diswai-Moremi.
According to close sources who remained anonymous, the Board of Directors, led by Tally Tshekiso, has been dragging its feet in giving recommendations to the appointing authority (Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration) well on time to act on the matter. “The Board had always known the man’s contract was coming to an end and they have just been sitting on it until the last hour. It was only last week on Ramaphane’s last days when a letter was written to the Ministry that the CEO’s contract has come to an end,” reveals the source.
When reached for comment on the contract of the outgoing CEO and plans around it, Chairman Tshekiso indicated that he did not feel safe to do telephonic interview with a stranger. When further pursued to arrange for a meeting, the chairman quickly dodged the request and declined saying that he was busy and engaged.
Pressed further, he explained that the appointing authority was working on the issue and that the Permanent Secretary could be contacted for further clarity. “It is a very confidential matter. The appointing authorities are working on it and I will leave it to them. I do not want to discuss it,” he said.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Kebonye Moepeng could not comment on the matter when reached for comment, but referred all inquiries back to the PEEPA Board Chairman. “I am on leave, kindly contact the Board chair on the matter. He is the right person to talk to,” she said.
Furthermore, those closer to the developments at the organisation, which is housed in Fairgrounds business area had highly thought the Board would at least appoint Diswai-Moremi who has been deputising the outgoing gentleman.
Diswai-Moremi, a sibling to the Minister of Basic Education Unity Dow has been Ramaphane’s right hand lady in charge of the office during his absence throughout his tenure. Ramaphane holds an MBA from Stirling University in the United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Botswana. Before his appointment to the CEO position at PEEPA, Ramaphane was responsible for Performance Monitoring within the Agency where his responsibility was to advise Government on corporate governance.His highly decorated CV includes a number of high profile positions in the corporate world such as leading organisations like Botswana Railways and Botswana Technology Centre to success.
Amongst Ramaphane’s successes
In 2012, PEEPA handled the merger of the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) and the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) to form the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC).
He also presided over the merger of Botswana Technology Centre (BOTEC) and the Rural Industries Promotion Company (RIPCO) to form the Botswana Institute of Technology, Research and Innovation (BITRI), as well as Botswana Savings Bank (BSB) and Botswana Postal Services (BPS).
PEEPA also embarked on regulatory frameworks which culminated in the establishment of a number of regulators such as the Competition Authority (CA) and the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) in its current form to include other sectors hitherto excluded under the jurisdiction of Botswana Telecommunications Authority.
The next major project for PEEPA was the separation of assets when Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited was being privatised. Bofinet was formed and BTCL’s Initial Public Offering launched in 2015.Ramaphane leaves at a time when amongst other developments, the process to establish the energy and water regulatory authority (BERA) is at an advanced stage.
Air Botswana’s privatisation processes had already kick-started, with the Ministry of Transport and Communications having put out the expression of interest to the interested investors in the market.
Of Govt parastatals and CEO’s contracts
Lately, it has become so common for the appointing authorities to not consider renewing/extending the contracts of the parastatal CEOs and some leave under controversial circumstances.
It all started with Motor Vehicle Accident Fund CEO Cross Kgosidiile in January 2016 who had been with the Fund for 10 years. MVA was one of the best performing parastatals compared to other loss making entities that gobble from the government coffers. Under Kgosidiile, the fund underwent a number of changes and accomplishments including winning three awards for Deloitte’s best company to work for, best parastatal to work for and the standard excellence achiever’s award.
He also oversaw major legislative changes to the parastatal, which have broadened its mandate and coverage. At the time of his departure, speculations were rife that the appointing authority did not renew his contract as he was linked to one of the opposition political parties.
Thabo Brian Dithebe followed in August 2016, having served for almost two years at Botswana Tourism Organisation after taking over from Myra Sekgororoane.
Dithebe’s alleged resignation stemmed from Marketing Manager, Jillian Blackbeard’s constant efforts to supersede his authority.
It was claimed that she’d often create initiatives that she’d take directly to the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Tshekedi Khama without the knowledge of Dithebe.
In February 2017, the man at the helm of the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre, Letsebe Sejoe parted ways with the parastatal. At the time, Sejoe’s contract had also come to an end but nonetheless, the media reports were rife that he remained the golden boy for the Board of Directors.
The Board’s decision to renew Sejoe’s contract was unsuccessful as the appointing authority, Vincent Seretse of Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry turned it down.
Following the establishment of BITC in 2012, Sejoe was appointed as Chief Operations Officer and later confirmed by the Board as substantive CEO in 2014.
Botswana Railways Chief Executive Officer, Dominic Ntwaagae exited the parastatal before his term could come to an end. Ntwaagae, who was allegedly under pressure, left BR with a whole month left in his contract, which was expected to expire by the end of March 2017. Ntwaagae’s departure followed a train derailment that had happened on 22 February between Lobatse and Gaborone.